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2 January 2018, 4:34 p.m.

Derby hope under a cloud

The immediate future of the promising three-year-old Te Akau Shark is uncertain.

“He’s on the easy list and we’re checking him over to see what’s going on and if everything is 100 per cent,” said Jamie Richards, who trains the son of Rip Van Winkle with Stephen Autridge.

Te Akau Shark was withdrawn from the Hawke’s Bay meeting on New Year’s Day and also scratched from today’s Tauranga fixture.

“He’s been feeling the hard ground and we’re just waiting for our team to go over him and give us a recommendation about what we do,” Richards said.

“We’ll then sit down with syndicate manager David Ellis and talk it through.”

Te Akau Shark, who at this stage remains in Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) contention, won his first two starts before finishing fourth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

 

Trainer’s judgement on the money

Stephen Marsh had high expectations of Insight at Tauranga and his pre-race confidence wasn’t misplaced.

The Cambridge trainer has a good opinion of the daughter of Shocking, who produced a dominant performance to win Tuesday’s Tauranga Vets 1300m.

“All of her runs have been really good, the only time she got tripped up was on a heavy track at Waipa,” he said. “She’s had a break and she’s come back a lot stronger. I think she’s a filly going places.”

Insight holds Group One nominations for both the Grant Plumbing Levin Classic (1600m) and the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

 

Mare enjoying rewarded campaign

Maltese Ruby collected the third win of her current preparation when she produced a gritty display at Tauherenikau.

The Sir Peter Vela-owned daughter of Darci Brahma got in the deciding stride under apprentice Jasmine Fawcett in the B & B Contracting Display R75 1400m after being forced wide on the turn.

“She got into a lovely spot one out and one back, but then got pushed out on the corner,” said Steven Ramsay, who trains the four-year-old with Julia Ritchie. “She only had 51kg, which helped, and she’s a lovely mare.”

 

Kiwi stallion raises the flag

Parthesia headed a stakes quinella at Flemington on New Year’s Day for White Robe Lodge stallion Raise The Flag.

The Darren Weir-trained four-year-old, who won the Listed Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) last season, added the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) to her record when she defeated Etah James.

“Darren's been working on this for I don't know how many months and he's got a wonderful record of winning races that he targets,” Parthesia’s owner John Richards said.